While all of us are busy with assignment deadlines during “hell week”, two of our SMU Sailors (Bernice Foo & Christian Chang) were invited to represent Singapore 🇸🇬 in the 13th Yisunsin Cup! They teamed up with 3 sailors from Singapore Polytechnic and managed to secure a spot on the podium, finishing off in 3rd Place!🥉🏆 Congratulations on the outstanding performance in the international stage!
Lets hear from the sailors through this exclusive interview with them!
1. Which class of boat did you sail on, who are the crew members?
We were on the J-24 One Design class. The team consisted Andre Chew (Skipper), Evangeline Tan (Jib Trimmer), Myrren Foo (Pit), Bernice Foo (Mast) and Christian Chang (Bow).
2. Given the opportunity to represent Singapore and SMU in an international regatta, describe your feelings and experience.
Bernice: I feel extremely honoured and thankful for this opportunity. The experience was great, being in the same team with other tertiary students and not just SMU sailors also gave me the chance to learn from them and we had a great time together!
Christian: I am extremely grateful and honoured for this opportunity to represent Singapore in this regatta. Forming a team with Singapore Polytechnic (SP) sailors gave me the chance to learn from them outside of SMU and pit our skills against the other teams.
3. How is the competition like?
Bernice: Regatta was pretty competitive since it was a one-design fleet. The race courses were short as compared to other regattas, which meant that we cannot afford to have room for mistakes in our manoeuvres and tactics!
Christian: The fleet was very competitive since it was One Design. Furthermore, the courses were very short in contrast to many other regattas I’ve competed in. This meant that good starts, clean manoeuvres and decisive tactics would put the team up front.
4. Is it hard to manage “Project Hell Week” and the regatta itself?
Bernice: Definitely, I had to miss one presentation and rush my assignments every day after racing. It was tiring but it’s worth it in the end!
Christian: Of course! Having to miss lessons and submit assignments whilst overseas proved challenging but I think it trains one’s discipline and responsibility. I encourage all sailors to take up this opportunity should it present itself, it’s tiring but definitely worth it!
5. How does this develop you as a person?
Bernice: Sailing wise: As it was my first time doing mast for a regatta, I learnt how to assist my bowman and ensured that the manoeuvres are clean executed.
As a person: It develops me to be a better team player and also trains my self discipline as I had to juggle with both sailing and studies, having to miss one week of school. It also forces me to make use of my time productively and to get rid of idle time.
Christian: This regatta honed my self discipline as I was forced to juggle both racing and academics. With the lessons missed, the onus was on myself to catch up on what I had missed and trained myself to make use of time productively. The constant grapple between post-race sleep and studies was real, but ultimately, we are students after all.
6. How is Korea Cup different from other regattas?
Bernice: One thing that was very different from other regattas that I participated in is the weather. As it was nearing winter, the conditions were much harsher, especially when the cold wind blows.
Christian: The biggest difference was the weather! As Korea neared winter, racing conditions were harsher and the team had to adapt accordingly.
7. What is the biggest challenge in this regatta?
Bernice: The biggest challenge in this regatta was having to cope with our small Genoa sail. The Genoa was a smaller cut than others, which really affected our boat’s speed and height.
Christian: As this was the first time I competed as a bowman, I had to learn as much as I could within the short timeframe. I contacted many senior bowmans to find out some tips and tricks they employed to make their lives easier in addition to the minute details to watch out for that could potentially result in poor manoeuvres. I am thankful that as a skipper, I’ve constantly looked out for my bowman and noticed the potential pitfalls so I could avoid them.
8. What are the new things you learnt from this regatta?
Bernice: As mentioned earlier, its my first time doing mast as a role in a regatta and I learned a lot in terms of how to assist my bowman. I also learnt a few matchracing tactics in a fleet race. Lastly, as we were sailing with other tertiary students, they have a different style in sailing as compared to SMU. Hence, I learnt to adapt and adjust to my helm’s preferences.
Christian: My biggest takeaway would be teamwork and communication skills. The team had only two trainings together before this regatta which meant we had a lot of ground to cover. Furthermore, as we were from different clubs, our sailing styles and preferences are different. Throughout the three days of racing, we adjusted and adapted to each other’s preferences and styles and aimed to improve each day. Ultimately, it was a great learning experience.